Scenery that'll take your breath away – time that makes memories.
Three Creek Lake
|Mike Putnam | Pacific Crest Stock
Drive south on Elm Street (Road 16) about 20 miles and you’ll run into a beautiful mountain lake at the foot of Tam McArthur Rim. Three Creek Lake offers non-motorized boating (rent a boat at the small store), fishing, swimming and picnic opportunities for the whole family (kids love to look for tadpoles). The 28-acre lake has planted rainbow trout and a self-sustaining population of brook trout. From here you can hike rugged Tam McArthur Rim or simply hang out on the beach ora in a nearby campground and enjoy the peaceful environs of a 6,550-elevation alpine lake.
Dee Wright Observatory
Standing atop the windswept McKenzie Pass, Dee Wright Observatory looks like the lonely lair of a robber baron. The observatory was named after a Civilian Conservation Corps foreman who worked on the site. The observatory offers a sweeping vista of the Cascades and overlooks the somber yet intriguing lava flows that dominate the pass. Interpretive signs offer a little education about the unusual geology of the area. The Pacific Crest Trail crosses the McKenzie Summit just west of the observatory. To get there, take Highway 242 west from Sisters (when passable).
Camp Polk Cemetary Tumalo Falls
Camp Polk Cemetery lies three miles northeast of Sisters and is a draw for those interested in old pioneer cemeteries. To get there, take Locust Street/Camp Polk north out of town. Continue to Wilt Road; turn right to stay on Camp Polk. Travel about a 1/3 of a mile to a dirt road and turn left. The cemetery takes its name from the old military post, but the site was actually established on the Hindman homestead. The oldest grave dates back to 1880.
Tumalo Falls is one of the more scenic areas in Central Oregon, and it's an easy drive west from downtown Bend.Take Highway 20 east to 3rd Avenue south. Turn right on Franklin Avenue and head west from downtown Bend to Galveston Road which turns into Skyliner Drive and leads to the gravel Tumalo Falls Road. There's an overlook (short walk) and interpretive site and a picnic area. If you want to make a hike of it – and you should – there are many trails in the area. Hike upstream along the creek and you'll run into more waterfalls.
Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery
While you are in Camp Sherman, head further north to visit Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. When you cross the bridge over the Metolius River and enter Wizard Falls, you know this is a special place. The clear, aquamarine color of the river water leads into a pristine grassy area and gentle paths winding through the
35-acre site. Various open tanks house the different fish species raised at the hatchery. Rainbow, brook, cutthroat and trophy trout, kokanee and Atlantic salmon are part of the three million fish on display. The hatchery hosts Kids' Fishing Day on the second Saturday in June. Wizard Falls is open from 8 a.m. until
7 p.m. Take Highway 20 west out of Sisters for 10 miles. At the Camp Sherman road sign, Road 14, turn right and travel 10 miles to the hatchery entrance.
Suttle Lake Head of the Metolius
Suttle Lake is one of Sisters' understated natural wonders. It's not dramatic or spectacular, but it is one of the most soul-satisfying spots in the area. Some days the lake is calm and glassy, offering a lazy afternoon on Cinder Beach looking out on Mt. Washington. Other days the wind whips the lake into a whitecapped chop and windsurfers weave through the waves. In the fall it is a riot of color as the leaves turn with the early frost. Visit the Lodge, take a boat out for a lazy day of fishing or take a stroll around the lake. Follow Highway 20 west 16 miles from Sisters; turn left and
follow the signs.
It's hard to believe that the mighty Metolius River starts from tiny springs in the shadow of Black Butte. Over the next five miles, more springs and tributary creeks build the river into a magnificent rushing torrent. The Head of the Metolius is one of the most serene and beautiful spots in Central Oregon. And it's very easy to get to. Just drive 10 miles west of Sisters to the entrance to Camp Sherman and follow the signs along Road 14. They'll point you to an expansive parking area where you can walk down a paved path about 300 yards to an overlook that treats you to a calendar shot of the headwaters and Mt. Jefferson.
Camp Polk Preserve
The Deschutes Land Trust acquired 145 acres of rare wetland/wet meadow habitat just north of Sisters and manages the site as a preserve. Camp Polk Meadow is the site of the first settlement in the Sisters Country. Camp Polk was established as a military encampment for the suppression of local Indians in 1865.
The Land Trust is working in the area to restore riparian habitat along Whychus Creek in hopes of one day restoring steelhead runs in the creek. Guided tours are given throughout the spring and summer.
For more information call 541-330-0017 or visit